Two Minnesota first-term Democratic reps want impeachment investigation of Trump

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., speaks at a town hall meeting
U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., speaks at a town hall meeting in Prior Lake, Minn., on Saturday. On Monday, Craig and another Minnesota Democrat, U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, moved toward supporting an investigation into President Trump.
Briana Bierschbach | MPR News file

Two first-term Democratic members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation got on board with an investigation into President Trump that could result in impeachment, staking out new positions Monday.

The 2nd District’s Angie Craig and 3rd District’s Dean Phillips had been reluctant to join other Democrats on pursuing articles of impeachment. That changed amid reports that President Trump urged Ukraine’s new president to investigate a U.S. political rival.

Trump has acknowledged bringing up a possible probe of former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and his son in his July call with the foreign leader.

Over the weekend, Craig had said she would wait for the results of preliminary House investigations before deciding whether to advance to an impeachment process. On Monday, Craig said impeachment proceedings should happen “immediately, fairly and impartially.”

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“We have a responsibility to ensure that no one is above the law — particularly our elected leaders,” Craig said. “Yesterday, the president and his personal counsel confessed to asking the Ukrainian government to interfere with a political rival. Additionally, President Trump threatened to withhold military aid to our ally if they did not comply. It is clear that the sitting president of the United States placed his own personal interests above the national security of the United States. We must safeguard our electoral process and our very democracy from outside threats.”

Dean Phillips
Dean Phillips
Mark Zdechlik | MPR News

In his own statement, Phillips said Trump has exhibited behavior that is “corrupt at best, treasonous at worst.” He said if the Ukraine reports bear out, an impeachment process must move ahead.

“Our Constitution transcends any person, politician or political party, and I call on the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Judiciary committees to use every legal mechanism possible to obtain all relevant evidence,” Phillips said. “If the reports are corroborated, we must pursue articles of impeachment and report them to the full House of Representatives for immediate consideration.”

Both Craig and Phillips won largely suburban districts last year that had been held by Republicans, although Democrat Hillary Clinton outpolled Trump in the 3rd District in 2016. Trump narrowly won the 2nd District that year.